Lesbian Couples Advice # 17
Be Curious, Not Critical.
When you become frustrated with your partner about something she has done, is your first instinct to be critical? Lesbian couples who want happy relationships must lean into curiosity before launching any criticism.
Imagine your partner is often asleep on the couch when you come home from work. After many days of this routine, you find yourself irritated, thinking, “Again?!!”
Your choices are to be curious, or to be critical. Curiosity sounds like this: “Now I wonder what is going on with her that she needs to take a nap everyday?” This inside voice helps you prepare a thoughtful question, like, “Honey, have you been feeling okay? I’m worried about how tired you seem lately?”
Criticism sounds like this: “You are sleeping your life away, and mine too for that matter! Everyday I come home I find you on the couch, asleep; the dishes are dirty, the house is a mess, the bills need paid, there is a lot of stuff to do around here and what are you doing? You’re sleeping!”
To enter the land of happy lesbian couples, slowly begin to shift your perspective about how you see your partner. NOTICE the thoughts you are having. If they are critical, turn those critical thoughts into useful questions. Here’s a helpful tip: questions that start with “WHY?” tend to be judgmental and really questions disguised as criticisms.
If you find yourself having critical thoughts and feelings about her on a regular basis, you may want to start a gratitude log and work to find things about her that you appreciate. Share as many of these appreciations you have for her out loud so she can know that you do have kind, loving thoughts, too. I’m guessing she is craving them.
Perhaps you feel like she is equally critical of you? This is not a game you want to win. In fact, here’s an article I wrote about the power of competing to be the kindest. That’s the kind of game you want to win with your partner!
Happy lesbian couples know, criticisms are toxic, negative, hostile thoughts and expressions that lead to anger, resentment and frustration for both parties. Get more curious, seek understanding and offer up more appreciations. You get what you give.